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RSVP/THE SOCIAL CITY

Christie's to Show It's Sold on Beverly Hills

May 25, 1997|MARY LOU LOPER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Sotheby's has understood the auction magic in Los Angeles for years. Now Christie's Los Angeles will open its new Beverly Hills salesroom at 360 N. Camden Drive on June 7 with an auction of film and television memorabilia. Can you imagine that Claudette Colbert's Oscar for best actress for 1934's "It Happened One Night" is estimated to bring $150,000 to $200,000? Well, Clark Gable's Oscar for best actor in the same film sold at Christie's for more than $600,000 in 1996. Marilyn Monroe's silver gown in "How to Marry a Millionaire" is estimated to go for $20,000 to $30,000. A Moroccan patent leather chair from "The Maltese Falcon" is estimated to bring $15,000 to $20,000.

Motion picture history collectors will be vying for a New York Plaza Hotel dinner menu dated Dec. 16, 1912. It includes 16 signatures of the most important pioneers of the industry, including Thomas Edison.

Pre-auction viewing begins next Sunday, from 1 to 5 p.m.

Awards: A record-breaking number of business leaders--more than 900--turned out for the California Hospital Medical Center's 12th annual Humanitarian Award luncheon at the Regal Biltmore Bowl. Keith Renken, retired senior partner, Deloitte & Touche, and his wife, Joan, were honored as 1997 Humanitarians. Dr. Wilfredo Hernandez, director of gynecological oncology at CHMC, received the Physician Humanitarian Award.

Uncharacteristically, Renken was speechless and took a moment to compose himself before accepting. "To improve the quality of life for those in need, we need to reach out and tell a friend," he said. "Joanie and I don't have a lot of wealth, when you look at our home, our cars, our checkbooks, but we are billionaires in friends."

Hospital chairman Paul Colony and his wife, Sherrill, Diana and Ray Martin, Lorna and Chuck Reed, Melinda D. Beswick and Dr. Keith L. Black were among guests. So were Sheldon and Sandra Ausman, Nancy Daly and John C. Cushman III.

Heritage: Richard Seaver received not one, but two honors last Sunday. He accepted an honorary doctoral degree at Pomona's graduation, then rushed back for the Heritage of the Music Center salute to him, Lloyd Rigler, Frank Sherwood and Lee Graff at the Hotel Inter-Continental. Each meets the Grand Patron qualification of having given an accumulated $1 million or more to the Music Center. Each received a William Crutchfield sculpture.

Said chairwoman Alyce Williamson, "You don't join Heritage; you belong. If one's support began 20 years ago or more, he or she is a part of this." She noted that "On Dec. 6, 1964, at a few minutes after 7 p.m., Zubin Mehta walked onto the stage of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and conducted the brass of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a celebratory fanfare by Richard Strauss. Once it was played, Los Angeles was a different city and a new heritage was begun."

The evening was one of those "warm and wonderful" occasions. Broadway stars Constance Towers and John Raitt teamed to sing favorites like "Some Enchanted Evening" and "We'll Take Manhattan." Applause was stand-up.

Forever Young: Friends of the popular Sue Young, wife of retiring UCLA Chancellor Chuck Young, upstaged UCLA brass at a luncheon at the Regency Club in Westwood to honor her. Every arrival wanted a hug. "Can't kiss," explained Young, backing off. "Still in chemo." Some had forgotten.

After tea sandwiches of watercress and chicken, the crowd heard Friends announce a scholarship in Young's name, specifically for a woman returning to college in mid-life. (That's when Young got her degree.) The program included poems, lyrics, scrapbooks, song and dance concocted by UCLA and Sherwood Country Club (where the Youngs now live) friends Carol Ashfar, Betty Rae Brown, Carol Collins, Joan Goldwyn, Connie Kaufer, Yvonne Lenart, Karen Mack, Carol Doumani, Pat Mirisch, Karen Orefice, Maxine Rosenfeld, Gloria Stypinski and Marion Wilson.

The group has named a yellow rose in her honor: Forever Young.

Thank Yous: On her Beverly Hills hillside terrace framed by tall Italian pines, Anna Murdoch hosted cocktails for the fund-raising Associates and Affiliates of Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles and praised them profusely for their hard work--credit and thanks they sometimes don't get enough of. As an aside, Murdoch added, "Rupert [he stood by listening] and I just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. We had five days in Bermuda. It rained."

Appointed last year as chairwoman of the hospital's Board of Regents, Anna Murdoch has come to the forefront as a major donor and advocate for the hospital. "I am a new friend--and you are an old friend. You gave $3 million [last year]," she told the support groups. She raised a glass. "The hospital will be 100 in 2001." The Regents' goal is an approximate $20 million annually.

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